Benjamin Fondane devant la Révolution


Abstract: The article comments on the speech that Benjamin Fondane had intended to deliver at the International Writers’ Congress, organised in Paris in 1935, by several leftist intellectuals, among whom Henri Barbusse, Alain, Romain Rolland, Aragon, under Soviet influence, as a manifestation intended “for the defence of culture”, against the backdrop of the rise of Fascism. The text is illustrative for the courage with which the author reveals the organisers’ intentions directed at ideological manipulation in favour of Stalinism, denouncing the turning of the reunion into a “political rally”, marked by dogmatism as to the defining of the “commitment of the intellectuals”. The speech is also of key importance for the author’s freely inquisitive spirit, as he brings up the issue of the “mirroring” of reality in the dogmatised Marxist vision and states the need for the freedom of spirit, the freedom of the creating individual in relation to the so-called “realities” of the world in which he lives and to which he opposes a vision of creation as retort, revolt, questioning, “lived idea”, as part of a “terribly critical ethics that goes as far as our total sacrifice”.